Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and an Illness-Focused Approach to Care: Controversy, Morality, and Paradox

Article Summary by Michael Sharpe and Monica Greco THIS IS A PREVIEW; the article will appear in the June issue. Please send your commentaries and e-letters based on the printed article. Link coming. In this piece, we explore the controversy concerning the treatment of the illness called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS, which is sometimes […]

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Women United: The RCOG celebrates the International Day of Action for Women’s Health

Tuesday 28 May 2019 – International Day of Action for Women’s Health 16:00-20:00 Lecture Theatre, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists 27 Sussex Place, Regents Park, London, NW1 4RG Please register at reception. Overview Introduction Women United is a medical documentary film forum that showcases a diverse selection of international short films, all in the […]

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The History of a Superstition

Reflection by GL Krishna (The ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, recently issued an advisory that reiterated its long held official view that “the principles, concepts and approaches of ayurveda are not at all comparable with those of the modern medical system.” This view of an absolute dichotomy between the two systems implicitly disputes the […]

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Agency, Embodiment and Enactment in Psychosomatic Theory and Practice

Article Summary by Laurence Kirmayer and Ana Gómez-Carrillo I know so little about the activity of the pineal gland Really, what do I have in common with my body. — Anna Swir (1996, p. 62) This quote from a poem by Anna Swir speaks to the problem of agency in illness experience: What can we […]

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“Pulling the World In and Pushing it Away”: Participating Bodies and Survival Strategies

Article Summary by Robbie Duschinsky What do thinking, eating and engaging in sex have in common? This seems a strange question. Participation in thinking, food and sex are really quite different activities. But Monica Greco’s work helps us think about the meaning of participation. In this paper we draw on ideas from Greco and Lauren […]

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Psychosomatic Subjects and the Agencies of Addiction

Article Summary by Darin Weinberg In this article I show how debates in addiction science have, in various ways, echoed broader debates opposing freewill and determinism—or more specifically, a neurologically determinist understanding of human behaviour and more voluntaristic understandings of human behaviour as caused by choices. I show that this has resulted not only in […]

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To Be or Not to Be: Is TB Elimination Possible in India Through a Humanistic Approach?

Reflection by Kesavan Rajasekharan Nayar India is one of the few countries where Tuberculosis is still widely prevalent. One of the oldest of human diseases in recorded history is still inhumanly ravaging lives despite India developing one of the most human-centred National Tuberculosis Programs way back in the sixties.1 It gave primacy to the people […]

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How Reality Hit Home as a Junior Doctor Resuscitating a Drowned Child

Dr Mohammad S Razai trained at University of Cambridge and is an Academic Clinical Fellow in Primary Care at St George’s University of London. In the blink of an eye, the tide had become too high and the wind too strong. The child, who was playing moments earlier in the sandy devon beach, had disappeared […]

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Acting by Persuasion; Values and Rhetoric in Medical Certificates of Work Incapacity; A Qualitative Document Analysis

by Guri Aarseth When acting as experts for the Norwegian National Insurance Administration (NAV), should the GP first and foremost consider the interest of his/her patient, his/her own professional integrity or the interest of society? Values are present in nearly all texts; a legitimate medical certificate is supposed to be ‘neutral, professional and objective’ – […]

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